I totally enjoy reading reviews written exactly how I would approach and value things. This is perfectly expressed in Rui Carmo's review of the Acer Aspire One.
Remote traveling, environmentally harsh environments, lots of lugging laptops around conferences and squeezing them into airplane fold-down tables has made me look long and hard at the large selection of sub-sub-notebooks (call them $100-laptop-spinnoffs or Eee-pc clonse) that are based on the new Intel Atom processor, SSD's, and overall small form factor.
However, despite their allure - especially the very well executed Aspire One, I just couldn't actually find myself picking one up. Fortunately, Rui very eloquently summarized both the excellence of the Aspire One, but also why someone like me probably shouldn't get one.
"I think that running Linux on a netbook is, ultimately, a waste of time .... the hardware is perfectly capable and there isn't much software that I can't get working '“ but because running Linux on a netbook inevitably leads to tinkering with stuff under the hood and I, for one, despite being perfectly able and willing to mess around with things, want no truck with that notion '“ it is precisely why I stopped using generic PCs at home nearly six years ago. ... It's fun and all, but I'd rather have an OS X-like environment where someone has gone to the trouble of polishing all the rough edges for me '“ it's one of those instances where 'freedom of choice' is the dumb thing to aim for. Even though Acer have done a stellar job of piecing together a coherent environment, there's too much cruft lurking just underneath the veneer, and all sorts of things started getting on my nerves."
You should definitely read the entire review. He covers the entire unit very well.
So Thanks - so instead I'll be doing like him and pulling out an old iBook to take around with me. The nice thing is, if I lose the laptop or it gets stolen, I won't really be that upset.
"In the end, it boiled down to how much time I really need to be at a computer these days, and whether or not I wanted the hassle of maintaining another one."
Considering I've been continuously traveling for the last year and half - and thoroughly enjoying living off a single laptop computer (with frequent backups) - I don't think I need to go back to the life of half-a-dozen+ computers/servers humming around my house in various states of configuration. Perhaps I'm just getting crufty.